EARTHWORKS

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Hunger strikers challenge Costa Rica mine decree

By Scott Cardiff

October 26, 2010

Defenders of the communities in Costa Rica threatened by Infinito Gold's Crucitas mine have been on a hunger strike for over two weeks to urge the government to revoke the mine's special decree.

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Tagged with: gold, costa rica, bellavista, infinito gold, forest, crucitas, road, macaw, river, trial


Gas leasing: if you're going to do it, do it right

By Nadia Steinzor

October 19, 2010

When the landman comes knocking, it s tempting to open the door wide. The promises made can be beguiling: fast cash, payments for years to come, and hardly any change on your property. Just sign up now

But harsh reality can set in fast. Maybe it s a road built right behind the house or through a crop field. Or barrels of toxic chemicals stored next to a drinking well. Perhaps the wastewater pond wasn t fenced, so thirsty livestock got sick. And when the royalty check arrives, it s far smaller than expected.

Across the Marcellus Shale region and beyond, there s abundant evidence that a rush to drill without strong regulations causes environmental and health problems. Less well-known is how the rush to lease in the absence of information, legal advice, and safeguards is harming many landowners, as well as their neighbors and communities. 

For more than a decade, OGAP has worked to inform property owners about their rights and what to consider before signing a lease most recently at landowner workshops in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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Tagged with: marcellus shale, landowner rights, best practices, leasing, protective leases


"Columbus" Day honored: EARTHWORKS activists support the Western Shoshone

By Alan Septoff

October 12, 2010

The Western Shoshone have lived in Nevada's Crescent Valley for thousands of years.

And they've regarded the Crescent Valley s Mt. Tenabo, and its springs, as sacred -- a place of worship -- for all that time.

And yet the U.S. government continues to approve mining operations that would cause great harm to this important place.

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Tagged with: blm, sacred sites, great basin resource watch, barrick, western shoshone, mt. tenabo


BLM outreach to mining claim holders on abandoned mines

By Lauren Pagel

October 7, 2010

Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began an outreach program to individuals or companies that have mining claims on public lands under the 1872 Mining Law. The goal of the outreach is to help the Bureau mitigate abandoned mine hazards.

Outreach to claimants is a laudable goal, and something the BLM should do more of. Unfortunately, regardless of how much outreach the BLM conducts, it will not change the fact that because of the antiquated 1872 Mining Law, there isn't enough money available to truly deal with our abandoned mine problem.

There are over a half a million abandoned mines in this country that could cost as much as $50 billion to clean up. Many of these abandoned mines pose serious public safety hazards, while others pollute streams and rivers. Yet, most years the BLM, Forest Service and National Park service spend less than $25 million on abandoned mine reclamation. EARTHWORKS helped to get some money in the 2009 stimulus bill for abandoned mine remediation, but nowhere near the $50 billion estimate.

Because the 1872 Mining Law allows mining companies to take valuable minerals like gold, copper and uranium from public lands for free, with no royalty or fee paid to the taxpayer, the abandoned mines that littler our public lands continue to pose threats to people and the environment.

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Tagged with: 1872 mining law, abandoned mines


Toxic sludge flood in Hungary is a wake-up call

By Scott Cardiff

October 6, 2010

Around a million tons of toxic alumina refinery waste -- red sludge -- broke through a dam this week in Hungary and flooded a large area. Several people died in the flood, and hundreds were injured by the flood and the caustic waste. And the impacts have just begun.

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Tagged with: waste, red mud, disaster, aluminum, bauxite, dam, alumina, hungary, irresponsible, flood


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